BOZEMAN — The Montana State football team set several goals this spring, but head coach Jeff Choate spotlighted one in particular after Saturday’s Sonny Holland Classic scrimmage.
“The No. 1 objective was to get out of there healthy,” Choate said in a press release. “And we got that, so I’m the happiest guy here.”
Saturday’s 80-play spring game effectively capped a month of practices, some of which were met with poor weather. The scrimmage featured highlights on both sides of the ball, and Choate praised the offense’s performance in the play-it period after a somewhat “shaky start in the red zone period.”
Tucker Rovig took the most snaps of any quarterback on Saturday. The junior completed 8-of-14 passes for 134 yards, 53 of which came on a pass to senior wide receiver Travis Jonsen. Rovig also connected with senior receiver Kevin Kassis for a 35-yard gain.
Redshirt freshmen Ruben Beltran (4-of-13) and Casey Bauman (4-of-9) each passed for 25 yards.
The running game compiled just 94 yards on 43 carries, but senior running back Logan Jones had a 25-yard run and finished with 30 yards on three rushes. The Bobcats “ran essentially two run plays,” Choate said: inside zone and counter.
“We didn’t open our playbook today, we didn’t use a whole lot of quarterback run game today, we were very basic in our pass plays,” he said. “It was vanilla by design.”
Tyrel Burgess had 10 yards on eight carries, Shane Perry had 13 yards and a touchdown on six carries and fellow sophomore Isaiah Ifanse finished with 16 yards and a score on five rushes.
On the other side of the ball, senior defensive end and Belgrade graduate Derek Marks recorded a sack, a tackle-for-loss and a pass breakup, while freshman cornerback Level Price Jr. and freshman lineman Kyle Rygg each had a sack and a pass breakup.
The spring practice period will officially end on Tuesday.
“When it’s all said and done we got basically nine practices,” Choate said, “so this is basically a first scrimmage more than a spring game. Now it’s time to focus on what’s going to help us get better — getting back in the weight room and getting in the classroom and focusing on academics.”